Flagler Memorial Bridge to open even later than expected

Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 19:07:32-05

For those of you who drive back and forth to Palm Beach, you’re going to have to wait a little longer for the new Flagler Memorial Bridge to open.

The construction is taking longer than anticipated and it’s even experienced some more delays.

The Town of Palm Beach was expecting the bridge to be open in a week or two, around mid-November.

Now the Florida Department of Transportation is saying maybe the weekend after Thanksgiving or the weekend after that.

The delay is only adding to the existing frustration.

“We’re just ready for it to be done,” said David Cipriani. He bartends and is a manager at Testa’s on Palm Beach. He also drives over the old bridge, through the construction and traffic every day.

“I’ve only known it to be construction. I’m actually excited to see when it’s going to be done, whenever that may be.”

And that finish date maybe a little later than expected.

“The fact that they keep pushing it back pushing it back, I think adds to the already existing frustration.”

It was supposed to be ready for one lane of traffic in each direction by mid-November.

However, the Town of Palm Beach learned that’s now not going to happen

“We’ve been living with this now for over 3 years and we’re very anxious to get it done and obviously we’re not pleased with the delay,” said Michael Pucillo, the Town Council President.

This is a state project and according to the Florida Department of Transportation it is a complex project, adding they are still working to make sure the electrical and mechanical systems are working properly. An FDOT spokesperson also sited some delays like Hurricane Matthew.

“The states been in good communication with us but we’d like to get this project done,” said Pucillo.

There is concern that because of Thanksgiving traffic the opening won’t actually happen until that first weekend in December.

Then the hope is that by February the entire bridge will be open to four lanes of traffic, two lanes in each direction.